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Duluth fishing guide’s trusty tips for checking ice on Lake Superior

Feb 18, 2021 05:58AM ● By Editor
Photos: KBJR-TV

By Meteorologist Alex Libby of KBJR-TV - February 17, 2021

In the last week during our cold spell, ice on Lake Superior increased by 25 percent.

That being said, ice anglers took full advantage of the froze-over harbor Wednesday.

Lake Superior doesn't entirely freeze over very often, so how safe is it out there?

"We haven't had ice in three or four years, so I'm pretty excited to get out there and go after some coho," said angler Stephen McDonald.

This is McDonald's sixth time fishing on Lake Superior off the Duluth shoreline.

He said he felt "very safe" on the ice Wednesday because the conditions felt perfect.

"Safety is a big concern. There is no wind what so ever, and there is good ice mass. So, I feel pretty comfortable," added McDonald.

According to longtime fishing guide Captain Jarrid Houston, the best way to know if the ice is safe is to test it yourself.

"The deepest biggest most dangerous lake in the world is frozen. It has to be a very very gradual approach to getting on this ice," said Houston.

Houston said slow and steady wins the race, especially when first stepping on the ice.

"Step one, check check. Just the shoreline is probably the most dangerous spot to go out on the ice because that is the place where things are always moving and relocating," said Houston.

Once you're out on the flat ice, Houston said the wind, and not the ice is what you should be worried about.

"No matter where you are on Lake Superior you should watch the wind. You should always be concerned about the ice blowing off," added Houston.

Additionally, using extreme caution is important, Lake Superior Ice fishing can be a once and a lifetime experience.

According to the Minnesota DNR there is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice, and walking on any ice is a risk.

To see the original article and watch a video version of this report, follow this link to the KBJR-TV website.

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